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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 22nd, 2017)

Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault on Wednesday. Nassar faces 25 years in prison or longer under charges of molesting seven girls, six of whom were gymnasts at the time. He has been accused of sexual misconduct against 130 women and girls, including Olympic medalists Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman. Three of the charges concerned victims aged 13 to 15, and another three applied to victims under the age of 13. Nassar apologized in a statement to the court on Wednesday. "I think this is important to have what I've done today to help move the community forward and away from the hurting and let the healing start," he said. Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina responded to him. “You used your position of trust in the most vile way: to abuse children," she said. "I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your life behind bars thinking of what you did by taking away their childhood.” Nassar's sentencing is scheduled for January 12. - NYT

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The Defense Department is investigating the behavior of three military officers who allegedly had improper contact with foreign women during President Trump’s recent trip to Asia. The three service members were reassigned from a White House agency that provides secure communications services to the president, vice president and others, the Washington Post reported. The noncommissioned officers reportedly broke curfew in Vietnam during Trump's 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia earlier this month. “We are aware of the incident, and it is currently under investigation,” a Pentagon spokesman confirmed. - WAPO

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The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state constitutes "ethnic cleansing," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. In a statement released on Wednesday, Tillerson said the U.S. continues to favor "a credible, independent investigation" to find out "all facts on the ground to aid in these processes of accountability." The U.S. could hold those accountable for the violence through legal means, he said, including possible sanctions. Tillerson, who met with Myanmar's state counselor and the commander in chief on November 15, said the country's government "must respect the human rights of all persons within its borders, and hold accountable those who fail to do so." About $87 million in humanitarian assistance has gone toward helping people affected by the crisis, he said. Since late August, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to nearby Bangladesh to escape persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. - NPR

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London police are investigating a second assault allegation against actor Kevin Spacey. Officials from the city of London referred the claims to police last week, not long after London’s Old Vic theater said it had received 20 complaints of inappropriate conduct by Spacey, its former artistic director. The new claims allege that Spacey sexually assaulted an unidentified man in 2005 in the Lambeth area of south London. Earlier claims allege that he assaulted a different victim in 2008 in the same area. "Officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. - BBC

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J. Crew plans to close 50 stores this year, up from 30 stores forecasted three months ago. Same-day sales of the J. Crew brand fell 12 percent in the company's third quarter, new reports show. Total revenues also dropped 5 percent, to $566.7 million. As of October 28, J. Crew had 574 stores. About 9 percent of those would close under the plan. “Our goal is to reinvigorate the J.Crew Brand to reflect the America of today and to continue to drive strong momentum in the Madewell Brand,” CEO Jim Brett said. J.Crew Group, Inc. also owns the women's apparel chain Madewell, which saw its sales jump 22 percent in the third quarter, to $107.5 million. - FORTUNE

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A man who burnt to death in San Diego last week was a former prisoner of North Korea. Police said this week that the death of Aijalon Gomes, 38, either resulted from suicide or an accident. Gomes was found on fire in a dirt field last Friday. He had recently moved to San Diego from Boston, reports said. Former President Jimmy Carter helped free Gomes, who was teaching in South Korea, after he was imprisoned in North Korea for illegally crossing the border in 2010. - AP

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A Republican congressman from Texas apologized for a nude photo of him that surfaced on social media this week. U.S. Rep. Joe Barton said he had consensual, sexual relationships with "other mature adult women" while separated from his second wife, before their divorce. "Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down," he said. An anonymous Twitter account first published the photo of Barton, the longest-serving Congress member from Texas. A spokesperson said Barton has filed for re-election and does not plan to step down. - THEHILL

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A Pakistani court has ordered the release of a suspect believed to be the mastermind behind Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people in 2008. The U.S. and India have accused Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of plotting the attacks, in which 10 gunmen went on a days-long rampage through India's largest city. The United Nations designated Saeed as a terrorist after the attacks that escalated tensions between India and Pakistan. In January, Saeed was placed under house arrest and is expected to be released on Thursday. The move will likely worsen Pakistan's relationship with the U.S., the Guardian reported.  - ALJAZEERA

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An Elon Musk firm has applied for a permit to start clearing the way for an underground transportation system in Los Angeles. The proposed tunnel system would start near the city of Hawthorne, near Los Angeles International Airport, and travel along the 405 Freeway to the Westwood neighborhood. Musk formed the Boring Co. this year to build the privately funded system, which will have stations along the route. On Tuesday, a government spokesperson said the firm filed an application with the city to begin digging. Musk, whose office is in Hawthorne, said earlier this year that the trek would take only six minutes. Traffic impacts "people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life," he said. - LATIMES

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A former teen pop singer has accused Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys of rape. Melissa Schuman, a member of the 2000s girl band Dream, alleged in a blog post that Carter raped her in his apartment while they were working on the movie “The Hollow” in 2002. Schuman, then 18 years old, claimed Carter, who was 22, forced her to have sex against her will. “I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex,” she wrote. “I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband.” Carter denied the allegations. "Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual," he said. - GUARDIAN

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